During meetings, it is not uncommon to get bored and uninterested especially when the speaker, the topic, and the situation leads to it. We want to be active in our listening but sometimes we can't help it. I'm sharing this from experience.
Like in our case in the New Normal when classes are not as interactive as before, we need to master the skill of active listening. Here are some tips to consider:
Remove all the necessary distractions
During online meetings, as much as possible avoid looking at other attendees. Use speaker view or focus on the shared screen as often while the presentation is happening. Put unrelated things away. When we look at other things aside from the presenter, it is easier for us to get lost in the discussion. But if you find your attention drifting, repeat the meeting topic in your head five times to bring yourself back to the task at hand.
Observe the speaker's body language
As we observe the speaker's body language, we can determine things that might add to what he is saying. If the presenter is pretty much excited about one aspect of the subject matter, that's a good indication that you should be excited about it too because it carries much weight. Be more observant, be it online or face-to-face meetings.
There is no better way to get the most out of your meetings than to listen intently. Even though you might have feedback or a rebuttal to what's being discussed, don't mentally prepare your arguments while the speaker is still talking. Listen. Tip: Keep all your questions until the end of a presentation to check that you have all the facts before you comment. Remember that when you interrupt the presenter, you're dragging the whole meeting and the discussion might get off track. Perhaps your question might be answered by the speaker as part of the presentation.
Maintain good posture throughout the presentation
Maintain a good posture. Avoid slouching in your chair as this gives the impression that you're not paying attention even if you are, and it might trigger your brain into "relax mode". A good gesture is to slightly lean forward as you listen and to nod occasionally to let the presenter know that you're interested in what he has to say and that you agree with a particular point. Beyond letting him know you're listening, it can also help him feel encouraged so he'll move the meeting along.
Be polite when asking questions or clarifying some information
Being polite during meetings, be it online or physical requires an emphasis on politeness and respect. We can show politeness by:
Don't interrupt others. Pay attention to someone's full remarks before making your own. Talking over others can slow down the pace of a meeting and even derail it. Give people a chance to present their arguments even if you do not agree with them.
Before criticizing an idea, start with an "I" statement, such as "I understood you to say...", or "from what I heard, you're saying..." acknowledging that you may have misheard or not fully understood the idea. Doing such avoids upsetting the presenter and instead frames your comment as an explanation and not an attack. It also opens an opportunity for the presenter to clarify any issues so you can ask more informed questions.
Don't be afraid to ask for the speaker to clarify certain points once the presentation is done. It's a total waste of time for you and the speaker when after the presentation you haven't understood a thing with what was discussed in the meeting
Meetings are excellent platforms to gain knowledge and improve our communication skills and relationships and sharpen our thinking skills. It is important to be active and participative and get the most out of every meeting we involve ourselves in.
Do you have other tips and ideas to add to the list? Share in the comments below.
Read my other BCH-related blogs:
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Hi, I am Marts! I am a writer, and aside from my stint here in read.cash, I also have my own blog - martsvalenzuela.com. I appreciate it if you pay me a visit! I plan on growing my readership as I learn to improve my craft and journey towards my passion to write and publish books that add value to people.
I am actually guilty for this. In online meetings I do other jobs. Thanks for the tips. Will save this for reference.